Week 8 football preview

Valencia Vikings wide receiver Ralph Testa (11) runs up the field before being tackled in the first quarter of a Foothill League game between Golden Valley and Valencia High Schools at the Valencia High School football field on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Chris Torres/The Signal
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Foothill League Week 7 Standings  

  1. West Ranch (7-0, 3-0)  
  1. Golden Valley (5-2, 2-1)  
  1. Valencia (4-3, 2-1)  
  1. Saugus (4-2, 1-1)  
  1. Canyon (3-3, 1-1)  
  1. Hart (1-5, 1-1)  
  1. Castaic (1-6, 0-3)

A wild week seven nearly shook up the Foothill League standings at the halfway point of league action. 

Hart and Golden Valley were close but turned away from big upsets over two Santa Clarita Valley giants. 

Saugus returns from its bye in week seven while Castaic dives into its off-week. 

Trinity will return home needing a win to end its two-game skid. Santa Clarita Christian will also return home and look to catch fire heading into the back half of its season. 

Valencia and West Ranch face off  

The Vikings will have their second away game on their home field Friday when they host the Wildcats. Valencia has shown impressive flashes this season as the reigning CIF Division 5 champs should. The Vikings are looking to avenge their loss to West Ranch last season in the program’s first win over Valencia. 

Both teams are riding high off wins. The Vikings played a close one but pulled away late over Golden Valley while Hart put a surprisingly excellent fight up against West Ranch. The Cats’ offense was blanked in the passing game for the first time in nine games.  

The run attack proved to be enough to push West Ranch over the top in a tight 20-14 win. That balance will be key in beating the Vikings, who have displayed a strong front seven this season. 

The Wildcats had a dip in scoring last week but are still averaging a little over 44 points a game. Valencia is yet to allow an opponent over 29 points. 

West Ranch hosts the Vikings at Valencia Friday at 7 p.m. 

Signal Staff Picks: 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: West Ranch is pushed but the perfect season continues. Cats win 31-21.  

Tyler Wainfeld: Vikings make it a game, but Wildcats reign supreme. 35-28 West Ranch. 

Saugus takes on Hart 

Hart nearly rocked the Foothill League standings but came up just short against West Ranch. The Indian defense limited big plays and forced the Wildcats to win on the ground. Even though West Ranch did in fact win the game on the ground, Hart’s defense has to feel good holding the Wildcats to 20 points and nearly stealing a game from the top-seeded team. 

The Indians’ line will need to play just as well if not better if to push the Centurions. It’s nothing new but Saugus’ pass rush and smothering coverage have given them an edge very difficult to overcome. 

Hart will need some big plays against a defense that doesn’t give up many. If the offensive line can give quarterback Tim Larkins some time to go through his reads, Hart can score. 

Larkins’ go-to man Sean Irwin will likely be blanketed everywhere he goes. Irwin is more than capable of making plays when covered but if the Indians can get some other targets rolling, they could score fast. 

The Centurions have utilized their early bye and are looking to come out strong after dealing with some nagging injuries.   

Saugus wide receiver AJ Goodman will also look to make big plays as he has done all season.  

Hart and Saugus face off at Cougar Stadium at College of the Canyons on Friday at 7 p.m. 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: Saugus storms out of bye with a win. Centurions win 28-17. 

Tyler Wainfeld: Centurions come in healthy after a bye. 27-15 Saugus. 

Canyon returns home to hosting Golden Valley 

The Cowboys officially snapped their five-year, 22-game league losing streak and will now look for their first league winning streak in eight years. 

Golden Valley, on the other hand, had its five-game win streak ended by Valencia. The Grizzlies kept it close but faltered in the fourth quarter. 

Golden Valley will aim for another balanced attack on Friday after running back Julian Rios was constantly met at the line or backfield against Valencia. The passing game and Rios’ legs out of the backfield have proved too much for five teams so far as the Grizzlies are looking to make it six. 

Canyon’s defense and running back Ganisten Turner played well against Castaic. The team will look to carry some momentum into the matchup with the Grizzlies. 

Justin Vigil-Zuniga: Golden Valley gets back on track, Grizzlies win, 35-17. 

Tyler Wainfeld: Grizzlies bounce back from a tough loss last week. 31-21 Golden Valley. 

Trinity hosts Riverside Prep 

The Knights (3-2, 0-1) will have another big running attack to deal with this week. Riverside Prep (2-4, 0-1) running back Messiah Daily has been pounding the ball down the field for the Silver Knights.  

Daily has racked up 431 yards on 51 carries this season.  

Trinity has allowed big running games in consecutive games and isn’t looking to make it three in a row.  

The Knights have gotten a little healthier after missing a chunk of starters last week and will look to get their first Mesquite League win of the year. The team is capable of attacking anywhere with a plethora of receivers and solid run game.  

Trinity hosts Riverside Prep at College of the Canyons on Saturday at 6 p.m.  

SCCS looking for first league win  

The Cardinals (3-2, 0-1) are going on six weeks since their last and only home game this year. SCCS will finally return home to host Desert Christian (0-4, 0-2) on Saturday.  

Hot off their first shutout in years, the Cardinals will look to stay in the win column and earn their first Liberty League win.  

It was a total team win along with a huge three-sack night for junior Noah Butler.  

The Knights will be fighting hard for their first win of the year so the Cards will need another intense four-quarter performance.   

SCCS and Desert Christian kick off at Canyon on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.  

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